COMSOL Day: Solar & Wind
See what is possible with multiphysics simulation
In addition to concerns about climate change, political and economic processes are now generating enormous momentum in the global push to transition to sustainable energy technologies. Deployment goals are set high, and to achieve them, production increases and efficiency improvements are necessary — especially for two key technologies, solar and wind energy.
Simulation is used to streamline the development and optimization of solar and wind energy technologies. Simulation models enable a deeper understanding of sustainable energy system components and accurately predict performance. They also foster innovation by enabling low-cost, rapid testing of new ideas. The COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software helps you create multiphysics-based, highly accurate models of solar cell processes, electrical contacts, and thermal management. You can also use the software's multiphysics capabilities to model lightning protection systems, generators, and submarine cables for wind turbines. COMSOL Multiphysics® also makes it easy to analyze the environmental effects, including solar radiation, wind, and corrosion, on these devices.
At COMSOL Day: Solar and Wind, you will learn more about the COMSOL® software's capabilities and simulation workflows from application engineers. You will also gain insight from experienced keynote speakers into practical implementations in research and development. We will also demonstrate a modeling workflow that allows team members from multiple departments to collaborate with simulation engineers.
Please join us before the first presentation starts to settle in and make sure that your audio and visual capabilities are working.
To start, we will briefly discuss the format of the day and go over the logistics for using GoToWebinar.
The demand for sustainable energy production has skyrocketed in recent years due to global concerns like climate change and the costs and risks of nuclear power. Modeling and simulation allow for a more efficient R&D process and a shorter time to market for the semiconductors, power electronics, power transmission lines, and generators used in solar and wind power.
Using simulation apps created with the Application Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics®, a larger community of engineers and scientists can benefit from the insights of high-fidelity multiphysics simulations, leveraging them to design and optimize components for solar and wind energy production. The Model Manager in COMSOL Multiphysics® further facilitates cooperation and transparency around models and simulation apps.
Join us in this session to learn how simulation apps can be used for getting the most from modeling and simulation projects and how the Model Manager can enhance collaboration amongst teams at different levels in an organization, from corporate R&D to the factory floor and field application teams.
FEM Simulations of Solar Energy Systems: from Solar Cells to PV Modules, Batteries, and Heat Exchangers
Dr.-Ing. Andreas Beinert and Dr.-Ing. Lena Emmer, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE
In this session, we will present finite element method (FEM) simulations done at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE along the value chain of photovoltaic (PV) systems. We will begin with wet chemical processes in solar cell production and continue with screen printing of solar cells before we examine PV module production processes. At the PV system level, we will use simulation to investigate the wind load on PV power plants and optimize the PV module frame for stability. Because energy storage is an important aspect of the energy transition, we will also optimize battery pack interconnection and investigate the effects of loading on battery packs. Finally, we will optimize heat exchange in adsorption modules and heat exchangers.
Solar power is among the technologies considered to have the greatest potential for producing green energy. However, manufacturers need to decrease the cost of silicon-wafer-based solar cells in order to make this a viable technology. COMSOL Multiphysics® is used in the industry to model, design, and simulate photovoltaic cells. The Semiconductor Module add-on includes predefined functionality for describing the phenomena that occur in a photovoltaic cell during operation. In addition, the capabilities in COMSOL Multiphysics® allow users to define their own sophisticated models for the computation of, for example, solar cell performance for a specific date and location.
The Semiconductor Module includes functionality for describing the p-n junction in a photovoltaic cell (as well as p-i-n junctions). This functionality can be used to calculate electrical power and optimize power generation. Design parameters, such as doping profiles, variating refractive indices, and sheet resistance, can be studied in order to reduce recombination and resistive losses and maximize electron collection.
Join us in this session to learn how COMSOL Multiphysics® and the Semiconductor Module can be used for the modeling and simulation of photovoltaic cells. We will demonstrate how to set up a model and solve the model equations.
Wind farms are often built in places with high winds, meaning that lightning storms are also common. With their metal structures and how high above ground they are, wind turbines are very susceptible to lightning strikes.
Modeling and simulation are often used for estimating the risk of being struck by lightning for a given design and a surrounding topography. In addition, COMSOL Multiphysics® is well suited for designing lightning-proof wind turbines equipped with lightning protection systems. The software’s unique capabilities allow you to calculate the current density, electrical field strength, and resulting temperature profile in a wind turbine structure subjected to a lightning strike. The temperature distribution can be used to estimate the resin degradation and the risk of delamination in the composite materials in the wind turbine.
In this session, we will give an overview of how COMSOL Multiphysics® can be used in the design of wind turbines and lightning protection systems. We will also demonstrate how to build models and apps for the modeling and simulation of these systems.
Simulation Tools for the Design of Lightning Protection for Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are particularly exposed to flashes of lightning due to their characteristic height and shape. Flashes of lightning nearly exclusively attach to wind turbine blades, which have to be designed to intercept the lightning at a metallic receptor and conduct the lightning current toward the root of the blade and into the hub and nacelle of the turbine. The ever-increasing size of turbine blades requires the use of light carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs) to reduce the overall weight of the blade and increase its stiffness. Because CFRPs are partly conductive and anisotropic materials, they need to be included in the lightning protection design, which typically requires specialized equipotential bonds in the blades.
This keynote presentation focuses on the pre-attachment, attachment, and current conduction phase of a lightning flash. A macroscopic, electrostatic 3D model of a wind farm is presented, which includes topography and derivatives of weather variables, as well as a simplified streamer model with the purpose of predicting which wind turbine in a given wind farm is likely to be struck by lightning during a winter thunderstorm.
During attachment, the lightning receptors need to conduct the current, resulting in a loss of receptor material due to Joule and plasma heating. The amount of material lost from a lightning receptor can be calculated by using the actual current waveform of a lightning event and injecting the resulting heat flux into a 3D model of the receptor using the Heat Transfer in Solids interface in the COMSOL® software. After attachment, the lightning current has to be conducted through the blade. Using COMSOL Multiphysics®, an electromagnetic circuit model can be created by extracting impedance values for each conductive element in the blade. Spanwise cross sections can be evaluated with the Magnetic Fields interface in 2D, whereas the chordwise connection can be assessed in 3D by using the Magnetic Fields, Currents Only interface.
The output of photovoltaic cells in a solar power station is determined by the light intensity of the solar radiation at the surface of the solar panels. The geographical location, the angle of the panel surface in relation to the sun, and the design of the concentrators all influence the light intensity.
COMSOL Multiphysics® includes a dedicated tool for obtaining the solar radiation angle and its intensity at a geographical position based on its latitude and longitude on Earth. In addition, the solar radiation can be coupled to semiconductor and heat transfer models of photovoltaic cells in order to compute accurate estimates of the output of the photovoltaic cells. Such models can be used for the optimal design and operation of the photovoltaic cells, the solar panels with the solar tracking system, and the concentrator mirror systems with variable inclination angles.
Join us in this session to learn more about the capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics® for modeling solar radiation with the Ray Optics Module, Semiconductor Module, and Heat Transfer Module add-on products. We will also demonstrate how to set up models and run simulations using these tools.
As the future moves toward sustainable energy, the need for systems that allow us to transfer electric power from sites like power stations and wind farms to areas over a long distance is becoming more prevalent. Such systems may involve HVDC cables as well as conventional alternating current transmission lines. COMSOL Multiphysics® is frequently used for the modeling and simulation of both HVDC and AC power transmission lines.
The AC/DC Module add-on includes unique features and tutorial models that enable engineers and scientists to optimize AC cables so that there are minimum transmission losses and, for HVDC cables, ensure insulation integrity over time. In addition, it contains ready-made functionality for calculating admittance, impedance, voltage compensation, and bio-effects from AC transmission lines, including corona discharge.
This session includes an introduction to modeling capacitive, inductive, and thermal effects in industrial-scale cables and transmission lines. We will also demonstrate the use of the AC/DC Module by setting up different models and running simulations of HVAC cables.
The widespread shift to green energy has increased the demand for power electronic devices like power optimizers, a type of DC/DC converter used to maximize the power production of solar power and wind turbine systems. Power electronics include components such as converters, rectifiers, amplifiers, and switches.
The AC/DC Module and Semiconductor Module add-ons to COMSOL Multiphysics® are important tools in the industry for the modeling and simulation of these devices. In addition to enabling lumped circuit extraction, the software’s multiphysics capabilities allow for including thermal and structural effects in the design of integrated circuits as well as discrete devices such as metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs).
Join us in this session to learn more about the capabilities of the COMSOL® software for modeling and simulating components in power electronics. We will demonstrate the use of the AC/DC Module by building models and running simulations of power electronics devices.
The permanent magnet synchronous generator is becoming the workhorse in wind turbines due to its performance, relatively low costs, and high output frequency at low rotational speeds.
The AC/DC Module has long been used to model and simulate different types of generators. It is widely used for creating high-fidelity multiphysics models because of its unique ability to account for nonlinear magnetic effects and combine them with temperature-dependent properties. Such models are used to design and optimize generators for the specific operating conditions in different wind farms.
In this session, we will demonstrate how COMSOL Multiphysics® can be used for describing rotating electrical machines, specifically generators. We will show how the software handles nonlinear magnetic effects, such as hysteresis, as well as temperature-dependent properties.
Managing Director, Germany
Thorsten Koch is the managing director of Comsol Multiphysics GmbH. There, he worked as an applications engineer and was a member of the development team. He holds degrees in physics and applied mathematics, completing his PhD studies on 3D contractility measurements of living cells at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Technical Marketing Manager
Phillip Oberdorfer is a technical marketing manager at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH in Göttingen. He organizes, moderates, and speaks at events on the topic of multiphysics simulation and simulation apps. Phillip has experience in CFD, heat transfer, and geophysics, and received his PhD from the University of Göttingen.
Julia Fricke is the marketing manager at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH in Göttingen, Germany, and has been with COMSOL since 2011. She oversees marketing in Germany and Austria.
Ad van der Linden works as an applications engineer and joined Comsol Multiphysics GmbH in 2008. Prior, he studied applied physics at the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands. He has more than 30 years of experience in electromagnetic applications combined with numerical simulations.
Technology Director, Heat Transfer
Nicolas Huc joined COMSOL France in 2004 and is currently the head of their development team. He is also the manager of the Heat Transfer Module. Nicolas studied engineering at ENSIMAG before receiving his PhD in living system modeling from Joseph Fourier University.
Technical Support Manager
Development Engineer, Electromagnetics
Lipeng Liu joined COMSOL in 2018 as a developer in the electromagnetics group. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
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